School division joins third-wave battle


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This article was published 04/05/2021 (765 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Since November 2020, northwest Winnipeg has been a COVID-19 hotspot. Now both the provincial government and the Seven Oaks Schools Division have taken actions to check the growing infection rates.

What is cause for serious concern is that most of the third-wave infections are of the aggressive variant strains.

On April 26, Health Minister Heather Stefanson said “We must continue to expand our vaccine campaign to reach those who are most at risk. Beginning today, all adults who live and work in the north (Manitoba) and in Seven Oaks West are eligible. This recognizes increase risk facing people particularly as variants of concern become more prevalent in Manitoba. Getting the vaccine will help people protect themselves, their love ones and their communities.”

Photo by Derek Dabee
Maples residents Monica Rocha and her brother Eric take COVID-19 precautions while out for a stroll.
Photo by Derek Dabee Maples residents Monica Rocha and her brother Eric take COVID-19 precautions while out for a stroll.

Seven Oaks West consists mostly of the Maples, Mandalay West and Amber Trails communities, which are part of the Seven Oaks School Division.

Three weeks ago, the school division embarked independently on a concerted campaign to assist in stemming the infection rates of its students, staff and the parents.

One of the initiatives taken by the division was to launch an information campaign through social media platforms. The created post is in three languages: English, Filipino and Punjabi and is captioned: Stopping COVID Starts at Home.

The poster notes, “Seven Oaks has one of the highest COVID transmission rates in Winnipeg. We need to change that and we can.”

Six important reminders were also emphasized in the circular:

  • Regular hand washing with soap and water;
  • Practising social distancing;
  • Wearing masks in public places;
  • Staying home if you or anyone at home is sick;
  • Avoid gatherings or visiting outside your home;
  • Sending only one family to do essential shopping.

Additionally, the school division invested in the more durable and safer N95 masks for its 1,600 staff members.

The N95 is a respiratory mask designed to achieve a very close facial fit which efficiently filters airborne particles. The edges of the mask are designed to form a seal around the nose and mouth.

Seven Oaks superintendent, Brian O’Leary said, “Our aim is to provide a safe environment for our students and staff and we are taking a stricter stance that we adhere to the provincial health orders.”

Derek Dabee is a member of the board of trustees of Seven Oaks School Division and a community correspondent for The Maples. You can contact him at

Derek Dabee

Derek Dabee
The Maples community correspondent

Derek Dabee is a community correspondent for The Maples.

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